ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The Report of the African Union Case Study on Cultural Services in Burkina Faso was validated on May 15 in Ouagadougou. The validation workshop was jointly convened by the Commission and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Burkina Faso. It was attended by stakeholders in music, dance, drama, and cinema, among others in the public and private sectors as well as development partners. Commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, the study is part of a project to carry out an inventory of the service sectors in Africa, and to promote the knowledge and understanding of services trade so as to provide a basis for service sector development and future liberalization.
Burkina Faso is a center of music and the arts in Africa and organizes several major cultural events for which it has developed wide recognition throughout Africa and beyond. These include: International Festival of Hip Hop Culture, Festival of Jazz, Festival des Masques et des Arts, Festival panafricain de Cinema de Ouagadougou (FESPACO) and the National Culture Week. The country has also developed schools for theater, art and dance that attract students from throughout Africa. Burkina Faso’s success story is evidence that the cultural sector is not to be ruled out, as it brings huge returns to the economy and employs the youth. The story also indicates that government policies are key to the success of the sector.
The objective of the validation workshop was also to bring together various stakeholders in the cultural industry to review the findings of the draft report and contribute to the finalization of the report. The participants have validated information, data and evidence and reached consensus on the findings of the report.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Aly Iboura Moussa, Representative of the African Union Commission, expressed his gratitude to the Government of Burkina Faso for the excellent partnership and unreserved support in conducting the study on Cultural Services in Burkina Faso and in organizing the validation workshop. He also appreciated the work of the Embassy of Burkina Faso in Addis Ababa which has been key to the success of the study. “The Cultural Industry in Burkina Faso has been identified as one of the case studies because of the Industry’s success in becoming a leading exporter of cultural services on the continent,” he said. Mr. Iboura Moussa mentioned that the potential of non-traditional service exports like culture has been explored by some countries in events like Carnivals, FESPACO, and The National Cultural Week of Burkina Faso, among others. “Cultural or creative industry has increasingly become a huge contributor to developed and developing nations alike for example it contributes at least 3.2 percent of U.S GDP and 1.4% of Nigeria GDP and is the second employer in Nigeria. In Burkina Faso the cultural sector contributes CFA79, 667,000,000 which is 2.02% to the GDP. These figures indicate that this sector cannot be ignored,” he emphasized.